Aug 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm #1262450
I am planning a trip to climb the West Buttress of Denali in June of 2012. I was wondering if anyone had some input on what a good shelter would be. I figure a two person+gear size would be ideal. I want it to be lightweight, but I don't want to skimp on protection on something so important. Thanks for any input.Aug 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm #1639082
If you have read the reports of others, you've seen what kind of expedition tents they use. I prepared for a Denali climb once, and three of us intended to use my North Face Mountain-25. The winds can be so severe up there that you really don't want to screw around. Further, you tend to have so much gear and you tend to spend so much time cooped up in the tent (waiting out weather) that a decent tent is necessary. You want one with a skin tough enough to stand up to the metal edge of a shovel.
You did not state how many people would be in your party, so it is difficult to recommend anything specific.
–B.G.–Aug 20, 2010 at 4:51 pm #1639089
We are not sure how many people will be in the party, but things seem to go easier (from my past experience) when the group breaks up into smaller tent groups of 2-3 people for each shelter. I figured on sharing my tent with one other person and our gear. The VE-25 is definitely a time-tried and tough tent but I was hoping for something lighter weight. I have a Mountain Hardwear that I could use but it weighs in at around eleven pounds. I was hoping for something in the 4-6 pound range.Aug 20, 2010 at 7:41 pm #1639139
This from an owner of the Bibler Bombshelter (Four interior poles intersect seven times for maximum strength, and two attached vestibules provide covered entries and room for everyone's gear. 8 lbs 10.5 oz):
“This tent has treated me well. It is water proof, and super bomb-proof in storms and because of the single wall design, it is light and roomy. It has a spacious front vestibule and a smaller real vestibule. I have lived on Denali and in other parts of Alaska for extended periods of time and it is still holding strong. It is tight with 4 men but works and is great with 2 on an expedition with lots of gear.”
What about Black Diamond’s “Guiding Light”? This from a BD employee: “Design wise they are almost exactly the same. The guiding light is made of "Epic" fabric, while the Bombshelter is made of Todd-Tex fabric. The Todd-Tex is a heavier, more rugged, and more waterproof fabric than Epic. Because of that the storm shelter is heavier (by 3.5 lbs). Part of that weight is also because the Storm Shelter comes with vestibules for both ends. They are optional [and cost extra] on the Guiding Light. I hope that helps.”Aug 20, 2010 at 10:55 pm #1639175
Black Diamond discontinued the Guiding Light tentAug 20, 2010 at 11:27 pm #1639181
"The VE-25 is definitely a time-tried and tough tent but I was hoping for something lighter weight."
Yes, the Mountain-25 that I mentioned is lighter.
–B.G.–Aug 21, 2010 at 8:01 pm #1639391
@rcowmanLocale: Canadian Rockies
what about a convert 2 or 3? the weight for the 2 is the same as the 3 on their website which seems 2 heavy for the 2. i think it was around 4.5lbs 5 with the vestibule.Aug 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm #1639398
Convert? Isn't that a single-wall job?
I think you would want a double-wall tent for Denali. You will likely be camping at least up at 17,000 feet.
I've spent two nights camped at 19,500 feet on a higher mountain, and I was very glad that I had all the tent that I had.
–B.G.–Aug 21, 2010 at 9:58 pm #1639414
@nicktruaxLocale: SW Montana
Not sure if you've read Matt & Agnes Hage's Denali Light report:
Kinda goes hand in hand w/ their recent Aconcagua report.
Great gear lists for both LW mountaineering trips IMO.Aug 21, 2010 at 10:49 pm #1639424
The Stephenson WarmLite tents seem like a pretty versatile and novel option. Might be just what I was looking for.Aug 22, 2010 at 3:42 am #1639435
Have you looked at any of the Hilleberg offerings.
Some worth looking at :
Jannu @ min weight of 5lbs 7oz / Max 6lbs 6oz
Allak @ min weight of 5lbs 7oz / Max 6lbs 10oz
Staika @ min weight of 7lbs / Max 8lbs 3oz
Kaitum 2GT @ min weight of 6lbs 4oz / Max 7lbs 8ozAug 22, 2010 at 6:47 am #1639444
Bibler tents! or Mountain hardwear ev2 single wall tentAug 22, 2010 at 7:00 am #1639446
Integral Designs MK3 XL. You can have them customized to your needs (poles, floor, doors, etc).Aug 22, 2010 at 8:41 am #1639464
I have been on Denali 3 times spent more than 80 days camped including 20 at high camp. I have seen alot of lightweight tents shredded. At high camp we have waited out 100+ mph winds. It is not worth risking your trip in a lightweight tent. The 2 main tents you see are MH Trangos and TNF VEs. One of my partners used a Bibler but ended up in our tent because of 2 things, single walls are too cold and too much ice build up. When it is -40F + wind outside you will be glad. The MH EV tents have no vestibule which is absolutely reguired to cook in bad weather at high camp. Yes you can use a cook tent lower but at high camp it is completely different. There is no way to get around the fact that you will be carrying alot of weight. Train hard then train even harder. That is the only way to get to the top.Aug 22, 2010 at 11:15 am #1639501
Lou Dawson of Wildsnow.com Backcountry/AT ski blog website) just did a Denali trip this spring using Hilleberg tents and his group was very happy with them. Note that they did not use the "high camp" at 17k – instead they opted for a longer summit day starting from the 14k camp. Shelter choices would be affected by this approach, as weather is generally rougher at the high camp.Aug 22, 2010 at 9:23 pm #1639663
Wow, no high camp at 17K, that guy must be an animal! It took everything I had to get to 17K. The margin of safety would be very small with a summit day from 14K. Easy to get frostbite on that long of day as well as having to rely on the rangers at 17K (if they are there). My 1 experience with that was a Chinese team that tried it and ended up at 17K with frostbite. The rangers took them in and then escorted them down the mountain, trip over. If you risk yourself (and possibly a rescue team) the rangers will ensure that you are forced down and then not be allowed to come back that season. A big risk after all the effort to get up to that point.Aug 22, 2010 at 9:58 pm #1639676
Yes, a friend of mine also did the summit within 24 hours all the way from 14K camp. It is a huge risk unless you have perfect weather, so being able to get good weather reports while you are high on the mountain is very important.
–B.G.–Aug 23, 2010 at 8:42 pm #1639904
There is quite a bit of discussion of all things Denali on the wildsnow website, including their rationale on the summit day strategy and all their gear choices. Probably some useful info for anyone planning a Denali venture.Aug 23, 2010 at 9:35 pm #1639920
Huge difference descending with skis – depending on the terrain, maybe less then a quarter of the time it takes to descend normally.Aug 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm #1640164
Re: "No guiding light."
In Stock: Free shipping on orders over $50! (limited to lower 48 US states) http://www.prolitegear.com/black_diamond_guiding_light.html
Sale Price: $479.98 Black Diamond Guiding Light
Shelters | Tents | Four Season
Item Code: black_diamond_guiding_light
• The single-wall Guiding Light is Black Diamonds largest Superlight tent. It uses an internal five-pole architecture to create a luxurious four-person basecamp-style tent with full-size doors on each end. For fresh air in nice weather, both doors have a full mesh panel, and for even more space, each door can be fitted with an optional vestibule (sold separately). The Guiding Light canopy is made from Epic fabric, which provides both water repellency and breathability and the floor is built with double silicone coated nylon ripstop for tear resistance and durability.
• Floor Space: 47 sq.ft.
• Tent Weight: 5lbs. 6oz
• Minimum Weight: 5lbs. 6oz
• Fast Pack Weight: 5lbs. 6oz.
• Poles: 5 DAC Featherlite aluminum poles
• Material: Epic canopy, 30d SilNylon Floor
• Length: 86 in.
• Width: 79 in.
• Height: 42 in.Aug 24, 2010 at 5:40 pm #1640168
Yup – it's still around. I owned one for a brief moment and then returned it because I decided I didn't really need it for Rainier.
I paid $300 on Sierra Trading Post. Really shoulda kept it at that price. It looks like an awesome tent.Aug 24, 2010 at 5:46 pm #1640170
Ships from and sold by GearX. http://www.amazon.com/Black-Diamond-Guiding-4-Person-4-Season/dp/B000FBBJWC
http://www.thefind.com/sports/browse-black-diamond-guiding-light-tent: Found 15 stores with 28 products matching black diamond guiding light tent.
P.S. I am no expert with this tent, and am neither for it nor against it. (either-or, neither-nor?)Aug 26, 2010 at 8:14 am #1640620
I have to vote for hilleberg. Lighter than that MH and NF tents, and very durable. (you have to stake it out right).
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